Dr Brian Balmer
Dr Balmer is the Chief Executive of the Essex Local Medical Committees Ltd (LMCs), which represents approximately 1300 Essex GPs. His role includes personal and professional support to GPs and practices, as well as the promotion of GP interests and aspirations to NHS England, local authorities, CCGs and other commissioning bodies.
He has been a member of the GPC (General Practitioners Committee) since 2002 and within the GPC has specialised in workforce, workload and commissioning/providing issues.
In July 2014 Dr Balmer was elected to the GPC Executive Team and two years later moved to work with ARU on the successful introduction of the first School of Medicine in Essex and has also worked with the NHS in Mid and South Essex on their Primary Care Strategy.
Prior to this, Dr Balmer was a Health Authority Medical Advisor/Director in Essex and gained an MBA in 1996. He was a GP partner in East London for seven years and is a graduate of the University of Manchester. He continues to work as a locum GP.
Born in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland, Dr Balmer now lives in Leigh on Sea and enjoys sailing, walking, cycling and military history.
Dr Vaiyapuri Raja
Raja joined the LMC in November 2019 as our Deputy Chief Executive. Prior to joining the LMC, Raja qualified as a Doctor in 1993, and worked as a speciality Doctor in NHS Hospitals for 16 years (General Surgery and Urology), before commencing GP Training in the Basildon VTS in 2007 and qualified as a GP in 2009.
Raja worked as a GP Partner in Thurrock for over 8 years, and then his expansive career within the LMC began in varied capacities.
Firstly, as a South Essex LMC Committee Member for 9 years, then a Board Member on Essex LMCs Board for 6 years. Raja then became Treasurer for Essex LMCs for 2 years, and the Medical Director for Essex LMC for 16 months. A spell as a Thurrock CCG GP Board Member was then held for 4 years before Raja moved into his current role as the Deputy CE for Essex LMCs in November 2019.
Raja’s responsibilities include supporting the staff within the team, assisting the Chief Executive, addressing and supporting Practices and GPs with their contracts, problems and wellbeing, and discussions with NHSE, CCGs and other organisations with regards to Primary Care.
Outside of work, Raja enjoys travelling, photography, gardening, DIY, cycling and riding a motorbike.
Cathy joined the LMC in March 2003 after 16 years working in NHS primary care. In 1987, Cathy began her career at the Essex Family Practitioner Committee at Carnarvon House, Clacton-on-Sea. As the organisation evolved into Essex Family Health Services Authority, Cathy continued her NHS career at North Essex Health Authority, undertaking a variety of roles, working with GPs, Pharmacists and Dentists. Cathy left the NHS in 2001 and went on to undertake project work for PCTs and others before taking up her role with the LMC.
Cathy is the LMC’s Liaison Manager, working primarily with Practice Managers to provide support with contract queries with NHS including regulations, premises, pharmacy/dispensing, CQC and Enhanced Services.
Away from work, Cathy enjoys attending concerts, the Theatre and reading. She is also rather partial to the odd holiday or two.
Sarah joined the LMC in July 2001 and is our Finance and IT Manager. Sarah manages all the finance and IT for the organisation. Sarah is also responsible for organising the LMC events.
In addition to her role at the LMC, Sarah works for EQUIP and shares her time between the two organisations.
Sarah joined EQUIP on 1st August 2017 following the transfer of hosts and manages the general operations of the organisation and is also the Finance Director.
Away from her dual roles, Sarah enjoys cooking and spending time with her Grandaughter.
Annette joined the LMC in June 2006, working part-time four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday). Prior to joining the LMC, Annette worked in merchant banking in the City for twelve years in Eurobond settlements. After the birth of her second child, Annette chose to work locally for a large finance company.
Annette held a number of Administration roles with Essex Social Services and then Maldon Primary Care Trust before joining the LMC as an Administration officer.
Her role includes providing administrative support to both North & South Essex Committees, which involves compiling and circulating agendas, taking and transcribing minutes, maintaining membership, including the election of LMC representatives and filling ad-hoc vacancies, and general administrative support for the office.
Away from work, Annette is married and has three children, four grandchildren and a border collie, so is kept quite busy. She enjoys spending time at home but also likes to travel and attend music concerts.
Karl joined the LMC in October 2020 on a contractual basis until March 2022 as a Finance Liaison Manager. He then became a permanent member of the team from 1 April 2022.
He also manages the organisation’s Social Media accounts, produces our newsletter and contributes to our website. Prior to joining the LMC, he worked in Accounts for a Colchester based Facilities Management Company for 4 years.
Karl’s NHS Finance experience was gained after a career spanning over 27 years at Carnarvon House in Clacton. He joined when the organisation was known as Essex Family Practitioner Committee in June 1989. His final role was as Payments Manager for 3 years when the organisation was latterly known as Primary Care Support England.
Outside of work, Karl enjoys spending time with his family including his Twin daughters as well as a number of sports and is a season ticket holder at Ipswich Town Football Club. He is also a weekly Columnist in the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star newspapers.